Exit Interviews

Gathering data from your exiting employees is crucial. Photo by Andrew Teoh on Unsplash

Exit interviews are vital to the growth of your institution and an important part of saying goodbye. Are you doing them? Are you doing them well? Exit interviews are one on one meetings conducted when an employee moves on from your institution. When done well, they are great sources of data. 

Some places may have an HR member discuss benefits with an exiting employee and call that an exit interview. In other places, just let that employee walk away and gather no data at all about their experience. Don’t let this opportunity for growth pass you by. Stop and think about what you can learn from this individual and their experience no matter what reason or what conditions they are leaving under. Another invaluable benefit of conducting exit interviews is that you are providing the exiting employee the opportunity to vent in a safe and productive manner. 

Formulating the questions and the conversation that will give you data that points you towards growth is the key. Ask questions that uncover things you want to know. The person leaving is holding valuable data about your institution. 

Things to consider when formulating questions:

  • Quality of work experience at the institution
  • Reasons for coming to the institution and reasons for leaving
  • Evaluation/feedback experience
  • Supervisor and colleague relationships
  • Onboarding process
  • Community building/sense of belonging
  • Items related to the values and mission of the institution 

Tips for processing this valuable data:

  • Approach with a growth mindset, be flexible and open to change
  • Take time to process the responses fully
  • Identify areas of growth, both in your systems and in your people
  • Identify areas of strength, both in your systems and in your people
  • Look for patterns 

Exit interviews are an opportunity to learn, grow, and change. Learn what you are doing well and adjust in areas that need strengthening. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Be brave and ask the hard questions and be ready to hear and process the responses with an open mind.